Architecture is music in space, as it were a frozen music
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Jazz was born in New Orleans. As a port city and a meeting place for travelers worldwide, New Orleans is located at the mouth of Mississippi River, a busy shipping route between America and the Caribbean in the early 20th century. That age saw its free and open society.
People of different faiths and races communicate with each other side by side, cultivating abundant music traditions. African-American music inherits a majority of African features, such as distinctive rhythm and collective improvisation. The mix of culture and local music – vocal music mostly – produced a brand new performance form of music which we called it Jazz.
Paramount, the birthplace of Jazz in China, becomes a generation’s recollections of Jazz, together with Cheongsam and Jinrikisha.
Jazz is a balance between composition and performance. The former is a tradition in Western Europe, and the latter one, spontaneous expression, begins in Africa. The oral culture stresses the importance of performance form, and bears some similarities to Peking Opera. Both of them rely on word of mouth.
What about the space of Jazz?
Most people will connect it with the origin of jazz. Its intercultural features and improvised nature allow abundant possibilities of spaces. We are able to encounter with jazz in cafes, bars, restaurants, and even squares at the street corner.
But the performance space of jazz cannot be simply defined as random choice. The spiritual core of this type of music is free and exact expression. So, what kind of space can satisfy its needs?
Blue Note has become one of the premier jazz clubs in the world since its inception. Many prestigious jazz artists have performed there, such asDizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and Oscar Peterson. Every show in the venue features famous musicians and performers in Jazz sector.
As the most celebrated venue for the live performance of jazz around the world, Blue Note Jazz Club opens a branch in Beijing, extending the cultural context to the space. Besides providing quality performances, it also creates a free and immersive atmosphere of jazz.
Blue Note Jazz Club features a subsided entrance which not only creates a sense of mystery, but makes itself be distinct from surrounding buildings. To some degree, it drops a hint that the club is an outsider, but this identity is blurred by the close connection between the building and the site. As a result, the entrance cultivates a vague setting of uncertainty.
Walking through a narrow and long corridor, visitors can find the timeline of jazz history on both sides. The end is a lobby with a generous amount of space, where is 5 meters below the ground surface. The height of lobby is relatively low but still sufficient to improve the interactions among space users. Jazz began against the same backdrop.
Going further to explore, visitors will see before their eyes an ample space: the main music hall of the club, where is acoustically perfect. The overall arrangement of room is free and innovative, differing from typical counterparts. One reception space is encircled by two-story stands, enhancing the atmosphere of live show.
The layout of the music hall is similar to theater, and to some degree, bar. Tables are casually arranged around the stage on the first floor, improving the flexibility of the whole space. Above that, there is a balcony where meets the high demands for appreciation.
Ferrous metals, compressed concrete slabs, perforated acoustic metal panels, wood floors, leather furniture, and acoustic ceiling are utilized to enhance the acoustic effects of main hall. The whole scheme is profoundly elegant.
However, it is evident that without users, spaces are useless.Activity per se is a vital component of spatial characteristics.The most charming feature of Blue Note Jazz Club Beijing is its flexible spaces. Every corner in it enjoys the strong feelings caused by music and life.
Today’s Blue Note is a mecca for jazz fanatics around the world. Its music, and even food, environment, services are all of high caliber, offering the best experience for customers. Every year, Blue Note hosts thousands of professional shows, and its own Jazz Festival. “The jazz capital of the world”, is its brand position and value.
Except for splendid music performance, Blue Note Jazz Club Beijing is also known for its gourmet, wine, and thoughtful services provided by star chefs and bar teams. It is committed to creating a stylish, artistic, healthy, and elegant life style.
How can Blue Note Jazz Club Beijing, a jazz center incubated by a cultural melting pot, establish itself as a brand-new cultural landmark?
A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.
Project Name: Blue Note Beijing Jazz Club
Project type: Performing arts theater
Address: 23 Qianmen Street, Dongcheng District
Area: 2,680 sq. m.
Client: Beijing Winbright Investment co. LTD.
Budget: 6.5million USD
Architecture Design: Chiasmus Partners,inc
Interior Design: Chiasmus Partners ,inc
Construction drawing Design: China Humax Engineering Design
Lighting Design: Sign Lighting
Acoustics Design: Acoustic and Theatre Special Design & Research Studio
Stage Lighting & Sound System: J.H Theatre Architecture Design Consulting
Acoustic Advisor: MaxTeam
Photographer: Eric Zhang
Design Principals: James Wei Ke, Hyunho Lee
Design Team: Max Bu, Eagle Yin,Yujia Deng, JB Simon, Laia Borau, Michelle Meng, Bowen Zhang, Justin Cheng,
Design Advisor: Frank Sun
2018 Young Bird Plan Suichang “Neo-Toilet” International Design Competition was officially launched last week. So far, over 1000 entrants have joined us with passions. With the guidance of James Wei Ke, the mentor of this competition, the projects of Top 5 winners will be modified and fabricated in the county.
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